Oprah’s new film, “The Butler,” which chronicles the life of longtime White House butler, Cecil Gaines, is stuffed with a slew of racist lies because apparently, the real butler, Eugene Allen’s life wasn’t interesting enough.
The film’s most striking interjection of racism shows a white man raping Gaines’ mother and then killing his father—two incidents that never actually occurred.
Instead, the real butler grew up quietly in Virginia and began his years in the White House under Pres. Harry Truman. He worked from a lowly “pantry man” to the highest White House service position of Maître d’hôtel. He was married to wife, Gloria, for 65 years and had one child, a son named Charles who fought in Vietnam.
The film however, shows the butler, Cecil Gaines arriving at the White House during the Civil Rights era in the late 1950s. It portrays Gloria as an alcoholic, who has a lengthy affair with a neighbor. It also shows Charles as an activist throughout the Civil Rights Movement and a fictional Gaines’ brother, who dies fighting in Vietnam.
Despite the fallacies and exaggerations in the film, the picture captures the quiet elegance of the butler. Gaines lives with the frustration that black workers in the White House went home with 40 percent less than whites. However, under Pres. Ronald Reagan, wages were equaled and blacks were promoted more often. Reagan even invited the real butler and his wife to a state dinner.
“The Butler” exploits the story of an African American who works hard to achieve the American dream. It insults the character of Eugene Allen, who in all his years in the White House, never spoke an ill word of any president.
This film deliberately perpetuates racial tensions in the United States, and every American should be offended.
Let us know what you think of “The Butler.”